It’s Stalker Time!
We got the long awaited Stalker live stream this week…and, the possibly even longer awaited Pappy vs Frost epic PvP battle!
Let’s jump into the stream, and then pick up the rest of the week’s tidbits.
The stream opened up with the Stalker DevSpeak, and since it’s been a bit since that one was released, here it is again:
The gameplay portion of the stream starts with a look at the single target DPS build for the Stalker.
We see the action set using abilities like Shred (basic attack), Impale, and Stagger (Stun).
The Stalker’s innate ability is stealth, and depending on the stance picked, provides differing bonuses. Stealth can also be used in-combat.
Opening from stealth, using Analyze Health, and Impale was doing some serious damage to the mobs, most were going down to a little less than 50% health just after the opener.
As is normal, they did various short Q&A segments during the gameplay portions.
Q: Will Stalkers struggle to stay in Stealth? Creatures with AoEs?
A: Unlock AMP to keep damage from breaking stealth.. can avoid telegraphs
Q: What constitutes ‘behind’ target? Does flanking from the side count too
A: about the full 180* arc behind the target
Q: Relative position to enemy changes your chances of being detected?
A: Zone of awareness is pretty much the same for all players/creatures. You’ll see the icon over the head if you are in the zone. Based off levels, bonuses, etc..
After showing off a bit of the DPS roll, they moved into the Stormtalon dungeon, to show off some Stalker Tank play.
The tank build they’re using includes:
Whiplash (basic attack +25% threat), Nano field (life siphon), Stagger, Collapse, False retreat (jumps you back, use again to jump back forwards), reaver (taunt).
An interesting bit to note, is that the nameplates showed by the team during the stream aren’t the default ones, they’re actually using an add-on developed by one of the beta testers, they go on to talk about a DPS add one developed by another tester, that Carbine has been working with to refine further for internal testing too.
Q: What answers does Stalker bring to table, over classes that can kite more?
A: Pounce, (Pounce again, but described as a backwards version), Collapse (pulls in nearby enemies), various stuns, and snares.
Q: Stalker tanks have an ‘oh crap’ instant heal, or invulnerability button?
A: Steadfast increases deflect up to 60%, Stalker stance increases damage mitigation.
Q: Stalker Tanks get any use out of stealth?
A: Passive buffs from Stalker Stance
Q: Examples of tank traits in AMP system?
A: Deflect chance, health pool increase, some AMPs trigger off of deflecting attacks
While getting ready for the Pappy vs Frost cage match, the classes flick was shown again:
That’s always a fun video to watch.. poor guy is right.. there are a ton of those psychopathic Stalkers running around 😛
After the class video ended, PvP design lead Jen Gordy joined the stream, to answer PvP questions while the Pappy vs Frost match was underway.
The plan is for Pappy and Frost to cycle through all the classes, so they can pick which class they play, but not play any class twice.
The match opens with Frost playing a Stalker (One of the classes he’s better at), and Pappy playing a SpellSlinger (a class he says he’s not very good at)…
Round 1 was over… quickly… Frost decimated Pappy that round…
Next up, Frost took the Warrior against Pappy’s Esper… and Pappy was typing in chat the whole time (so, 11122233222311131, etc..), and didn’t do very well (since it means none of the actions he was trying to use were used).. so they took pity, and had that match replayed… and Pappy still lost.
Couple of quick Q&As with Jen:
Q: World PvP objectives in contested zones?
A: Probably not for launch, want to see where people end up wanting to fight at
Q: Level up solely through PvP
A: After level 6, yes. Trying to make BG vs Quest XP equivalent.
Match 3 was Frost playing a Medic, and Pappy playing a Warrior… that match handily went to Pappy.
After those three 1v1 PvP matches, the focus shifted to some 2v2. Pappy teamed up with Chris Lynch (Lead Combat Designer), to take on Frost, and his teammate Marc Matzenbacher (Warrior/Medic class designer).
Match 1 was Engineer/Esper (Team Pappy) vs Engineer/Medic (Team Frost).
This match shows us that if you’re in a PvP zone, and both you and the other faction are flagged for PvP.. the silhouettes of the other team will be red from a distance..and as you close turn ‘normal’.
Frost went down first in this match, but Marc’s Medic showed some pretty decent survivability against Team Pappy… Team Pappy did take Match 1 though.
Q: Melee seems to be dominating ranged in these matches, do the metrics match?
A: Ranged classes aren’t doing a good job at staying at range in Pappy vs Frost
Q: Skill cooldowns differ from PvP to PvE
A: Skills don’t..but the breakout gameplay can impact them
Q: How will PvP queues match groups and solo players
A: Two different systems, arena will match on rating… open match on gear
This stream also gave us our first look at one of WildStar’s Arenas!
There will be two types of arenas in the game, open (level 30+), and rated (level 50). Rated gives you team/personal rating towards arena rewards, and open is more of a ‘practice’ type environment.
Arenas have a shared pool of respawns per team.. so your team needs to manage that aspect as well (who will use the respawns, and when). For example, it might be more beneficial to have your healer take one of the last respawns, than it would be to have a DPS take it.
For the 3v3 arena, the team makeup is:
- Team Pappy: Hugh Shelton (Esper), Steven Ingle (Engineer), and Pappy (Medic).
- Team Frost: Jen Bardic (Warrior), Jade (Stalker), and Frost on a SpellSlinger.
Team Pappy suffered from technical difficulties on attempt one (Hugh’s computer rebooted). Team Frost ended up taking the match.
To settle things once and for all, one last 1v1 match was called..both Pappy, and Frost were able to pick their best class.
Pappy went Warrior, and Frost went Stalker… it was a close match, and Stephen Frost emerged victorious!
Congratulations Frost! (I’m still Team Pappy!).
The other big news for the week, comes by way of Jeremy Gaffney in the comments section over on WildStar Fans. In the comments to their article about the NDA related plans, JG swings by to shed some light on the pre-order situation. Short version is, no pre-order information till more testing on elder game content.. but, head over to WildStar Fans to read the comment yourself.
There has been some discontent with the art style for female characters in WildStar. Particularly, regarding their breast size. Carbine has addressed this, by changing the breast size for the Humans, and Aurin, in the latest patch. This reddit thread (some comments are very NSFW), has a decent side-by-side comparison of the Human appearance, before/after the change.
When he wasn’t practicing for the big PvP match, Stephen Frost swung by the MMORPG.com forums, for a Q&A session.
Here’s some highlights:
Q: How much true end game content will their be when the game launches? Or will we as players have to wait for multiple content releases?
A: * Raids are only available at level 50 * Warplots are only available at level 50 * Veteran Dungeons and Adventures * PVE zones * Level 50 content instances for PVE players * Housing Items * there’s a ton that is only available ONLY at level cap
Q: im just wondering if rp rule will be enforced on rp server, and if classes with the same possible job will have equal potential or if one will overshadow others. like medic healing better than spellslinger/esper?
A: Not sure on the RP server, actually. I’d have to chat with our live producer. Regarding healing, different classes have different spells and feel to them. Some people prefer the Esper, some the Medic and me, I like the Spellslinger healer. It’s a lot more precision based, and I like that gameplay style. It all depends on you.
Q: Are there going to be any mechanics which will allow me, once I reach max level and obtain the uberest of gear, to play with friends who are just starting? For instance, Guild Wars 2’s down-leveling (which is far from perfect). This seems to always be the biggest barrier to me getting my friends to try whatever game I’m playing. I hate rolling alts for this purpose. Also, beta key yada yada…
A: Yeah we have mentoring and rallying in our game. We wanted to make sure that you were able to play with your homies, even if they picked up the game after you did.
Q: just wondering about your WARPLOTS i watch every video about them but to this day i really want to know how do you create one meaning what level , how to upgrade in general everything regarding them. i was a stress tester for the winter beta but didnt reach that far , plus the game deleted my character so yhhhhh … PS: cant wait to see you & papi go @ it #TEAMFROST BTW can you hook a brother up on a beta key please just had to add that part in XD
A: Despite the fact that I said I wouldn’t talk about Warplots, I’ll answer a couple of questions here. You can create a Warplot ONLY at level 50, they are Elder Game content. You get upgrades by earning a currency within Warplots, I won’t say what those upgrades are, but you can use that currency to buy instruments of death. Also we’ve said that you can capture a raid boss and unleash them upon a rival team before… so… you can do that by getting a rare drop off of a boss in a dungeon or raid. Watching/playing that in playtests is pretty damned entertaining as they crush hordes of players. I’m extremely excited for the coming weeks and months ahead, because I think people are going to love seeing and playing this feature. 40 vs. 40 death fortress combat! What’s not to love? Also thanks for the #teamfrost support. I will eviscerate Pappy.
And that’s it for the week.. can’t wait to see what Carbine has in store for us next week!